In a previous post, I mentioned what are the criteria for being battleground GRCs or SMCs:
- Good chance of falling into opposition hands
- Historic or unprecedented
- Candidates or issues are controversial or attention-grabbing
- Heightened sense of anticipation to the campaigning period and Polling Day
Nomination Day is over, and this is the updated list:
- Aljunied GRC – it nearly fell into opposition hands in GE 2006, and the WP only needs a 8-point swing of votes to its side to capture the GRC. Furthermore, a sitting Opposition MP, Low Thia Kiang, is leading the GRC team with their ‘star catch’ Chen Show Mao. The whole Singapore awaits the results from this GRC.
- Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC – given that Chiam See Tong has made known his intention to contest here much earlier, there is excitement over whether he can capture the GRC. Furthermore, his team has two former government scholars, cementing his team’s credibility. More importantly, Bishan Toa-Payoh has faced walkovers since 1997, and we do not know if voters would take to the veteran Chiam or stick to the PAP team. This huge known unknown makes the contest challenging for both the PAP and SPP.
- East Coast GRC – the WP garnered 36 percent of votes here in GE 2006, the second-best performing opposition GRC. The PAP’s decision to insert two ministers and no newbies here means they treat the contest very seriously.
- Holland-Bukit Timah GRC – the SDP has fielded a very strong slate against a twice-walkover team. S’poreans caught a glimpse of the verbal sparring between the SDP and PAP, and can expect more as campaigning period begins.
- Tampines GRC – the NSP and WP have been whacking Mah Bow Tan. What would be voters’ reaction?
- Chua Chu Kang GRC – again, a NSP team which has two former government scholars is competing against the PAP.
- Marine Parade GRC – attention seems to be on 3 candidates only, SM Goh, Tin Pei Ling and Nicole Seah
- Nee Soon GRC – the previous Nee Soon SMCs (east, west, central, north, south) used to swing to opposition in the 1990s. Whether the support continues is unknown.
- West Coast GRC – KJ from the Reform Party is making his maiden electoral bid. Success or performance here will make or break the future of his party.
- Ang Mo Kio GRC
- Jurong GRC
- Moulmein-Kallang GRC
- Pasir-Ris Punngol GRC
- Sembawang GRC
- Potong Pasir
The reasons are similar for both wards. The sitting opposition MPs are leading GRC teams, and everyone will be looking to see which way both go.
- Punggol East – well, because it’s a 3-cornered fight
As of now, the rest of the SMCs don’t really look exciting. Attention is focussed on the GRCs, and if the opposition will make a breakthrough. The PAP might have thought up of the GRC system to its benefit, but they forgot if the opposition wins one GRC, even if marginally, they immediately net 5 or 4 seats. Oh well.